Dear John.... is a British sitcom written by John Sullivan (of Only Fools and Horses fame) and starring Ralph Bates as John Lacey, a divorced man who was recovering from his ex-wife having left him for his best friend. Much of the comedy centred around his friendships with the members of the '1-2-1 Club', a support group for divorced and separated people.
The show, which aired for two seasons (1986–87) on BBC1, came in at sixty-fourth in Britains Best Sitcom.
Remade for American television with Judd Hirsch as Dear John...note , which ran on NBC from 1988–92.
Not to be confused with the 2010 film of the same name.
For the trope about ending a relationship with letter, see "Dear John" Letter.
This show provides examples of:
- Annoying Laugh: Sylvia. Apparently, her ex-husband even informed her of this.
- Break-Up Song (relationship breakup): The theme tune.
- Casanova Wannabe: Kirk, and he literally has a polyester suit and medallion!
- Citizenship Marriage: Ralph's Polish ex-wife married him for citizenship.
- Catchphrase: Kirk: 'Cos that's the sort of man I am!' Louise: 'Were there any...sexual problems?'
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kirk as mentioned elsewhere is a Casanova Wannabe with a Small Name, Big Ego and a habit of claiming to be a spy and a black belt in karate when in fact he's a bespectacled, cardigan wearing wimp who lives with his mother and spends his time reading martial arts magazines. However in the final episode when the gang are threatened by four Hells Angels it turns out that his fighting skills aren't just boasts.
- Cut Short: Star Ralph Bates died in 1991 so plans to continue the series were scrapped.
- "Dear John" Letter: John actually gets one of these in an episode of the US show, resulting in an amusing Title Drop.
- Featured in the opening titles of the UK show, pinned to John's door.
- Divorce Assets Conflict: John's ghastly ex-wife Wendy has taken everything.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Poor John is the king of this trope.
- Dysfunction Junction: As well as John and Ralph's problems above, Kate's been married and divorced three times due to being frigid, and where does one start with Kirk's problems?
- Gallows Humor: There is a lot of bittersweet humour about divorce, lack of love, and bad sex (or no sex).
- The Good Old British Comp: John teaches in one.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?: Kirk's constant boasting.
- Jerk Jock: One gets the impression Mike is the Jerk Jock grown up.
- Lyrical Dissonance: The theme song is an upbeat song...about a breakup.
- Mail-Order Bride: Ralph's ex-wife.
- Nice Guy: John is one, and sadly it has got him nowhere in life.
- The Nicknamer: Kirk - 'Tiger', 'Ralphey' etc.
- Not a Date: Kate and John go for dinner once. Hilarity Ensues when they both drink too much and wake up in bed next to each other with no memory of what had happened after dinner.
- No Name Given: All the members of the 1-2-1 Club call each other by their first names, except for Mrs Arnott.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Kirk
- Taking the Kids: Before the beginning of the first episode, no less.
- Transatlantic Equivalent: The Judd Hirsch version.
- Tropaholics Anonymous: The 1-2-1 Club.
- Urban Legend Love Life: Kirk again. In one episode we actually find out that Kirk's real name is Eric Morris, and he's a wooly jumper-wearing nerd who lives with his mum and has never been married at all, let alone divorced.
- Averted in the US version, where Kirk's numerous affairs are obviously quite real.
- The Vicar: Or rather the Catholic Priest. Wendy decides Toby should go to a Catholic school, so she and John pretend they are still married. Of course, Hilarity Ensues.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: The end of Kate and John's Not a Date
- Will They or Won't They?: Kirk/Kate, John/Kate